How to Make A Living Wreath For Spring with Pansies

How to Make A Living Wreath For Spring with Pansies

I am a big fan of wreathes and love to display them on my front door. Many times you see floral wreaths that are made with fake flowers. They are adorable but I wanted to try making a living wreath using real pansies.

I bought the wreath base from the garden supply website,, $24. They offer the wreathes in three different sizes. I choose the medium base for my door. A smaller version might be sweet on a gate or hung next to your door. The kit includes an inner liner but you will need to buy moss and potting soil too.

I started my wreath two weeks ago. Shown above is how it looks today. It’s the beginning of the growing season in New England (it’s only late April) so I imagine it will grow in much more. I tend to put too many plants in pots and not allow them room to grow. This is my first time with this project but I tried to be mindful that it will probably be covered with larger plants by June.

Below are step-by-step photos on how I created my wreath. I realized I did make mistake. After placing the larger liner and soil in the base I should have added a top liner cover before planting my pansies. View Kinsmans correct instructions here.

You cut into the liner to make room for the flowers. I didn’t do that. I just planted the pansies directly into soil and added moss around the plants and wreath. I am sure both ways work but maybe the extra liner keeps them moister and more secure?

By July, I assume my pansies might be struggling. I tend to have a hard time keeping them going once the heat of the summer sets in. I can easily pull out the pansies and reuse the base for a different flower. I am excited to experiment and see the different variations I can come up with as the seasons change.

Currently the wreath is on my back door leading to my someday garden. The door is waiting to be painting. I think once I have color on the door the wreath will really pop.

Here is the base, flowers, and the top of the base in the upper left corner.
I soaked the liner in water and laid inside the base. I then added a layer of potting soil.
I separated the pansies from the packs and placed around the ring. I placed them next to each other but did not squish them. I wanted to leave room to grow.
Secure the top ring over the base. This clips onto the base and helps to hold everything inside the base.
Take the moss and wrap around the base covering all the dirt. I wrapped it around the outside too but found I didn’t feel like I needed it in the middle. The liner is there and holds the materials inside. (I forgot to add the top base until I was half way around wreath, it was freezing out and I was working fast)
I soaked it with water and let sit on the table for about 4 days.
This is the wreath after two weeks of growth.
Make sure to check how moist the soil is every few days. It rained last night but the door is protected and the wreath hardly got wet. I just brought inside because it’s so cold and windy today.
A tip I learned while the wreath has started to grow more and to pull back the moss a little. I hope this encourages the plant to grow out more and really fill in the wreath.

Gardens in ‘Sconset on Nantucket Island in the Off-Season

Gardens in ‘Sconset on Nantucket Island in the Off-Season

This is late April on Nantucket island. Before the leaves pop and the tourists return. The homes are bare against the blue sky and daffodils bloom in tiny corners and along roads. It feels as though the island is just waking up.

We flew to Nantucket with a friend for a day trip. Even though we live in Massachusetts making it to and from Nantucket in one day via ferry is tough. This week is spring break for my daughter and flying to Nantucket seemed like a doable island adventure. We have never been and I really wanted to see more historic homes and how they have been renovated. I was really interested to look at the exteriors and how they made good use of a small garden spaces.

‘Sconset was very inspiring and idyllic. Each house seems to offer a view of the ocean. I didn’t see any tall fences but lower picket and flat top styles which doesn’t block anyones views. Crushed oyster shell driveways and paths with grassed planted in between. I didn’t see any pea gravel. The homes are covered in trellises. It has to be quite the sight seeing the roses in bloom in the height of summer. If you want to see these houses with all the flowers in bloom search: Sconset Bluff Walk.

For me it was helpful to see what roses look like in the winter. I feel like I only see photos of them in full bloom.

How do the trellis look bare? Are they ugly? It’s easy to only think of the idealized view but I feel like I need to consider the components of a house year around. I tried to included photos of more domestic solutions for utility boxes and trash. I always struggle finding images online. I hope you are inspired and the images help with any renovation you may be considering this summer.

Artist Katharine Watson on Her Garden Series Prints

Artist Katharine Watson on Her Garden Series Prints

I came across Katharine Watson’s work on instagram. I immediately fell for her tomatoes from her Garden Series prints. The colors and design are so appealing and happy. She recently added a strawberry version and I had to have it.

I am planning to have framed for the kids room. The cheerful strawberries feel like a perfect fit. I recently painted the room blue, white and yellow. I was intrigued to hear more about Katharine’s work so I asked her if she would do an interview with me so I could share her work with all of you. Enjoy!

Q: How were you inspired to design your garden series?
A: I’ve been gardening for several years but it took on a new life during the pandemic as it became my main hobby and social outlet. It just made sense to do a series of garden-inspired prints since I work so much with floral and botanical patterns anyway, I wanted to make that more literal. Plus, I can see my garden out the studio window so the inspiration was literally right in front of me.

“I can see my garden out the studio window so the inspiration was literally right in front of me.”

Katharine Watson

What is a risograph? Risograph is a process similar to screen printing where the design is burned onto a screen and the ink is pushed through it. I knew I wanted to do multi-colored prints for this series, and when I’ve done multi-colored linocuts in the past they’re often smaller runs and more expensive because they’re time consuming to print, and then they sell out quickly. I wanted these to be more accessible, so I knew from the beginning that I would use risograph to do the final print.

I carve the design from linoleum, print the original block print, then turn that into a risograph print. That way it has the same look and feel as my other work, but I’m able to offer more of them and keep them at a lower price. 

Will you be creating more design this year to add to this series?
Absolutely! I have a long list of plants I want to work on, I’m sure that list will grow now that the actual garden is getting going again. I’m hoping to add a handful of new prints every few months. It will be a waiting game just like a real garden!

Tell me more about your garden and what your excited to grow this year?

My garden is in my backyard, and has had several versions over the last few years. We fully finished setting it up and got it to a really good place in 2019, then in the fall a massive tree fell and destroyed the entire thing. It was devastating, but it meant that we started from scratch in 2020 and had a lot more time on our hands, so we built it back bigger and better.

There’s not as much structural work to do this year, although we are planting a few more fruit trees and vines this spring. My favorite thing to grow is Zucchino Rampicante because it turns into a massive vine with giant leaves that you can grow up a trellis (and I think the squash is delicious).

I’m also growing some new-to-me flower varieties this summer which I’m excited about. I know that Mexican Torch sunflowers are a gardeners staple and favorite but I’ve never grown them, so I’m excited about that! If they look good, maybe they’ll become a print! 

All images courtesy of Katharine Watson

All images courtesy Katharine Watson